So as many of you might not know I am an avid gamer / player of video games and have been for many years. During this time I have done my very best to avoid bad gaming experiences.
Hence why I have always held the Call of Duty series in very high regard indeed. It was the historical shooting game that killed off Electronic Arts Medal of Honour series but I will say that MoH:Allied Assault I still rank as one of my favourite ever WW2 video game experiences. This was only beaten buy Call of Duty’s superb outings on the Xbox and Xbox 360 (yes I am an Xbox fan boy DEAL WITH IT). These outings into the world of World War 2 included fast pace intriguing story lines that left you in awe at times and don’t get me started on the Modern Warfare series. This is where unfortunately the Call of Duty Series peaked, see I always judge a video game on 5 criteria: 1 Gameplay, 2 Graphics, 3 Single Player campaign, 4 Multiplayer and 5 the Wow factor (the feeling you’re left with after finishing the campaign).
Okay so lets start with the Gameplay, they have upped the difficulty level by incorporating health kits and you no longer have rejuvenating health. This keeps you on your toes, but with a team close by to provide you with health kits and ammunition at any time pretty much. Depending on your difficulty setting its a nice touch. This is a nice unique feature that separates Cod: WW2 from its counterparts in the CoD series and other shooters in general. The team’s abilities are a nice addition meaning you can get to keep using your favourite weapons all you like. The ability to pick up a stationary machine gun like the MG-42 and it not replace one of you other two weapons makes for fun and interesting game play for someone like me who enjoys a big machine gun in a game. The general gameplay is typical CoD nothing wrong with it no need to change its fluid, clean and efficient.
On the the Graphics, this is where CoD: WW2, EXCELS…..really truly excels my god its a pretty game I mean WOW. Those artists deserve all the credit for this game….because holy shit I found my self in AWE at times in this game, both in Multiplayer and the campaign. You long for the snow levels just so that you can shoot someone through the side and see the level of realism. The entry and exit wounds from a sniper rifle splatting a winter snow covered uniform with gore, and not to mention the carnage of a head shot, utter bloody perfection to such an extent that most movie studios don’t get it THAT right. All of the environments are clean and crisp, including and I hate to say their attempt at air combat in the single player campaign this is the games selling point. That it is one HELL of a pretty, pretty game I can’t wax lyrical enough about it. Never has war looked so damn good as in this game even the reloading the weapons in perfect detail. When reloading a belt fed machine gun like the MG 42 with just 1 round you see the 1 round just one solo round being loaded it quite literally blew my mind.
The single player campaign, ohhhhh shit…..this is the part I was not looking forward to. This should have been the MEGA selling point it has big name actors such as Josh Duhamel who recreated accuately and they have done their jobs to perfection as a voice actors they never miss a beat a great performance from all involved. This is where campaign stops being a selling point. The campaign is typical CoD it feels very card board and structered you feel like your own rails of an aracade shooter, with just slighty more freedom that is as to where you stand and which weapons you use. Want to move else where forget it, go where the game doesn’t want you and its like getting an RKO from Randy Orton….(Wrestling reference I do those too) in that it comes out of nowhere. Plus as mentioned you’re playing on rails in a nicely decorated and beautiful concretesque environment. Serriously you cannot even see your characters anatomy other than his hands, nothing below, body or legs and feet. This is just infuriately lazy when walking through thick snow you don’t even see your foot prints. This stuff annoys me, how dare they in a game which is so detailed and beautiful not include this detail, when Halo does and even Steep (not an FPS I know but has a first person mode so it counts).
Okay I went off topic on a rant, but lets get back on track and talk about the rather dismal story. WW2 is a part of history that can be used as a sandbox for some amazing creativity. What was the story about pretty much a Saving Private Ryan-Band of Brothers-Captain America: The First Avenger hybrid story line. Taking the best bits from past WW2 games, movies and shortening them making them less epic then they should have been. I can’t say I cared much for the character that you get thrust in playing as for the majority of the game some standard American GI, Captain America look a like. Who throughout the game says the sprouts “American virtues” etc etc etc. Borring rehashing of key battles of WW2 in France, Belgium and parts of Germany.
The very best bit about this game is the time when you’re liberating Paris first as the GI guy, then as the charasmatic, beautiful, don’t give a crap and not to be fucked with femefatal French resistance agent who goes under cover. This section of the campaign when you’re freeing Paris is the highlight of the campaign and I would say the only reason to play the game at all. Once you have finished here just stop…it doesn’t get any better FACT, just take the game back to the store and say thank you very much.
On the veichular sections these are meh…. at best the tank level is okay but no chance to switch between 3rd and 1st person views was annoying, but the ability to blow up buildings was good and it felt fairly natural to control I enjoyed this section. The plane section as beautiful as it was is terrribly flawed. The air combat section is fairly shit…and coupled with really limited hit detection you could fly though the bombers you’re supposed to be protecting and shoot them all you want and it won’t do anything. This section felt rushed, half arsed and like flying in a big fish tank, and I really wanted more from it.
To sumarise the story and my feelings towards it, basically having grown up playing the Halo series and other CoD games where you were feeling excited and on the edge of your seat throughout. This story is very flat and leaves you feeling disgusted, deflated, disappointed and angry at what could have been. Angry that you spent 60€ on this over hyped but beautiful game.
The Mulitplayer is unfortuantely the high light of this game, but again I have qualms, CoD has many WW2 games in its back catalog and many mulitplayer maps why were these not updated and bought in to this game. Yes I will compare it with Halo where you have more than 100 maps to choose from, and the ability to create your own through the Forge system. The map choice is too limited, not enough choice and still very blocky feeling to all of them. Its a fun to play with friends online don’t get me wrong, the leveling up system and general asthetics are nice, as are the lack of loot crates….they are still there don’t get wrong. But they don’t brake the game, and it isn’t essential to buy them to get the gear you want.
I would do the WOW factor but I have already said that so here is my summary of CoD:WW2. It is one of the most beautiful games I have ever played there is no doubt on this, the game play is solid for most part and at times most enjoyable. This is where my praise for the game ENDS….its been a rinse and repeat job from the CoD developers through out this game, and my god it doesn’t half show. This game feels dated had it not been for the pleasing asthetics this game might as well have come out on the last generation of consoles. The story lacks imagination and is very lazy at times it will leave you feeling deflated at the end, make no doubt if you’re thinking of buying the game for the story line….DON’T. I mean where were the German secret weapons the V1’s, V2’s etc there is so much we could have had fun with and we didn’t. I have to compare this game to BattleField 1 which is superior in single every way, the variety of combat, from air to ground….CoD:WW2 cannot even begin to hold a candle to it nearest competition, its almost laughable that this game got released in this state. The Call of Duty Franchise needs a mega reboot I for one won’t be buying another ever again…and my copy is now being kept simply as a reminder #NEVERAGAIN.